Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eight Factors In Communicating What You Believe

Like me, do you like the cross? Perhaps you are open to sharing your faith about the cross in a way that doesn't come off as cross at peeps ..or cursed? 

Do you mind if I ask a few questions to stir up your pure thinking? 

Right now are you half-hearted or whole-hearted in living for Christ (I mean the Bible Jesus)? 

Is the Holy Spirit grieved or pleased inside of you.. or is He in you at all?

Do you stubbornly stay in a status quo, ineffective, or socially acceptable dead church? Are people being won to Jesus in your church? Does your pastor ever witness to unbelievers outside the four walls of that building or does he have a "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude? May I ask what your attitude is like? 

Real Christians might hate a strange caricature of evangelism that is not even biblical, but all real Christians love biblical evangelism as Jesus did while here on earth.. and all Christians are indeed called to witness to lost people.   

Have you chosen worldly people or spiritual, soul-winning Christians as your best friends? 
Do you date those with mere said-faith or with saving faith, single person? 

Who do you flirt with those who are other than your spouse, believer? Stop now.  

Do you have spiritual maturity along with an ambitious, balanced faith inside.. instead of a selfishly ambitious, imbalanced or immature faith? Do you aggressively seek the Lord in prayer with an earnestness in you, instead of living rudely or uber-aggressively towards other people? Do you have a passion for Jesus or are you distracted and apathetic?

Have you done your homework in memorizing verses and in studying Christian apologetics and in Spirit-led intercession? Are you ill-prepared for their honest questions? Do you want to.. or know how to communicate what you really believe concerning Christ, believer? Hey, be yourself in Him and do these things:  

1.) Effective communication begins with believing prayer and a real burden inside of a Christian? Do you really care for people? How often do you pray or through the net..or a baited hook? Do you love the lost today?

2.) We must be culturally relevant. Why are we still answering questions people are no longer asking?

3.) Arrest the interest of your listeners! Paul did that. Sure, it's a sin to be dull in witnessing due to neglect of your primary ministry (to God) and vertical relationship!  

4.) Preach the Word to lost people. Paul also did that. God primarily saves people by using real Christians to preach the Gospel ..even in our day (you don't have to do this in a pushy, lame, preachy sort of religious way). God ain't stiff or religious.  

5.) Make sure your preaching is biblical, because God's Word will not return void …even though yours and mine will. Illustrations are fine to open a window so light can shine in, but why build a message upon an illustration instead of upon the Word of God? Preaching the Word is where the power is. Razzed dazzle won't save anyone. I don't need to make the Bible interesting, because the Bible is already very interesting and relevant too! I don't need to control others even a little, or impede the work of the Spirit for one second..ever!

6.) Brag on Jesus Christ instead of on you, or on your denomination, your pastor, your favorite band, or church etc. Have the cross in your Message. No excuses. Explain about the blood of Jesus at Calvary and what actually happened on the cross. Define Bible terms that are not easy for em to get. Charles Surgeon told people to make a beeline to the cross when they speak. In our attempts to cross over, we sometimes forget to bring the cross over. Forget not! Be not ashamed of Christ's Name or of the cross no matter what the scoffers say! Our aim is not to be vogue or cool with the world.

7.) Preach the whole Gospel. Tell em the bad news (all have sinned and there is a real Hell for unrepentant sinners..) and the Good News. Paul told people to repent (yeah, this turning to God away from all inner sin,  and wrong doings or sins of omission). Explain how to do this carefully. Many say there are too many Hell-fire and brimstone preaches today. False, where are they? When was the last time you heard one preach? I haven't seen one in years. The prob—there's too many Christians that add to the offense of the Gospel and also too many feel-good preachers today who leave out certain truths that are hard to hear. They fail to compassionately warn people that are headed for wrath and judgment ahead.

8.) Leave the results in the hands of God. Give people an opportunity but never force or pressure em to say "yes" to Christ.

In communicating my faith, I've had to learn the hard way at times. There were times when I wanted to stay in the "secret service" in the army of God and never speak. There have also been times when I spoke too soon. I am no expert at all. But listen, it'll help any of us to THINK before we speak:

T = is it True? H = is it Helpful? I = is it Inspiring? N = is it Necessary? K = is it Kind? If it ain't then simply hold your peace n don't think it or say it. 

Real Christians: 1) Believe in Him, 2) Act like Him, 3) Think like Him (according to the Bible), and 4.) Speak like Him (Jesus).

Not a flawless prayer here, but would you pray something like this... "Dear Lord, I want your mind to be in me. I want to feel what you feel for lost and saved people. Need more love. Please refill me (and us) with your Spirit and help us  know all the counsels of Your Word as we keep working our way through the entire Book. Hungry for the plain unchanging truth—need no new revelation when I've got the old! Please ignite or reignite zeal, godly passion, and holy fear inside of us.. not for our glory but for your glory and praise! Am serious as a migraine, only in a positive way. If some of us (including me..) currently have a plank-eye and have been vainly busy workin' on the speck of sawdust in another's eye, then help me or us get a clue n stop it! Never wanna talk down to people or be a hypocrite! Yup, aid us so that we can actually get that log out ..by the right choices and true repentance. You can empower and equip any of us. Please be Lord and make me more than a believer—make me a disciple that's pleasing to You. Make me like You.. and make us  useable today Please privilege us by using us this week. Open doors. Give blazing sound friends, potency of yoke breaking anointing, ongoing straightforwardness, and a harvest. Wanna sow seeds and reap as You have done. Yes, bless us with godly wisdom, discernment, and keen insight added in there too. Show us how to better employ the gifts that you've given us. Got more for us to work with? Who cares what the misinformed or half-ignorant church folk might say? Won't be stop by what money-hungry abusers of the gifts have done—those whacked Chrismaniac-charlatan-showmen who prostitute the things of God for gain. I love all charismatics and other Christians, but give us more godly character, deep convictions, steel-backbones if You will. Grant me a burden inside—a supernatural heart-felt concern for people in need no matter their color, history, or status! Wanna close the deal so to speak when the time is right ..but please let it be sooner rather than later.. and help me do my part to helping to bring closure on Your Great Commission! Please kindle a fire inside of me again and in us so that we will all burn as red-hot believers, instead of as chilly cold, lukewarm, carnal, or merely religious nominal Christians. Please use us to teach and preach the Bible accurately in a tactful… in a bold way that makes it so clear. Am so ordinary, but You are extraordinary and do extraordinary things through plain people like me. Thanks for Your ginormous love and patience. Sanctify, purify.. help us simplify and apply! We want a right spirit. Wanna be motivated by your agape love and one day hear You say "Well done!" In Jesus Name. Amen." 

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